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Friday, June 20, 2014

A Serious Suggestion for Iraq: The Middleman

A source told me that the Arab world often uses middlemen to coordinate outcomes. I suppose since you can't trust others (rightly so said Hobbes) then the use of a middleman can come in handy.

Maliki need not and should not go right now. No leader should step down under such conditions.

What is needed is the right diplomacy. Example: the US or the UN should use an ambassador to Iraq or a special one to shuttle between the various contenders. With some initial confidence building measures at first and then leading to something like an Office of the Purveyor to continue the Middleman role.

More likely is a de facto partition of Iraq with ongoing low level violence.

Sending in US spotters or spies will piss off someone. If they spy on Iran from Baghdad to see what it is doing in Syria that will piss off Baghdad too. If they spy on Sunniland to bomb targets that will piss off the Gulf States.

You see the goal of the US is instability: don't let anyone win, not Maliki (would help Iran), not Assad (helps Russia), not ISIS (helps Saudi and ould scare Israel).

But the backers involved want these factions to WIN. Unlike the USA, they dont want the pot to just keep on simmering forever.

Keep in mind too the track record of the US in that region has been a general failure. Things always seem to backfire over there.   

Sunday, June 8, 2014

The Bergdahl Event

In postmodern thought, an event is singularity, either of one major theme or (more likely) of them all. It would be for example the coming together in thought or politics or writing all of the extant ideologies at once…i.e. a hot mess. The Bergdahl debate is such a happening. It has all that can be thought about war and POW’s in one spot. Traitor or patriot? Was too much given up for the trade? Were the exchanged only Taliban officials or warriors? Can Qatar be relied upon? Let’s look past the truth of these questions for a moment.  

But Bergdahl will mean nothing in terms of the outcome in Afghanistan. He will not provide much help either on the campaign trail. No Republican will talk it without undermining the ‘support the troops’ idea. No Democrat will talk it without the worry of what the exchanged might do. A wash. But a fluorescent one. A singularity which fits perfectly in no one narrative.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

dumb Goodluck, dumber boko haram

The location of the 200+ Nigerian girls was not known. But the CLAIM that that location was known elicited 'chatter' from the kidnappers, the location of which was then triangulated. Cool. The mere use of publicized speech did the trick, not physical sleuthing nor tracking.

Unfortunately while the Nigerian army is good at burning down Hausa villages, it is not able to do a surgical operation. And most of the girls have been married off or ransomed by now anyway.